Pittsburgh, Pa. – Sept. 3, 2019 – Join the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and other partnering organizations for fun and learning about local farms, organic foods and sustainable living at the 2019 Mother Earth News Fair, September 13-15, at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pa.
The fair features more than 150 workshops and hands-on demonstrations as well as hundreds of exhibitors. Fairgoers interested in learning more about leasing farmland north of Pittsburgh can visit the Conservancy’s information booth located inside the Seven Springs Resort ballroom. Conservancy staff will be at booth 1202 to answer questions about leasing options for farms and farmland conservation.
In January, the Conservancy acquired a 40-acre farm, located off of I-79 in Findley Township, Mercer County, which is now available for lease to local farmers for small-scale agricultural operations to produce food or raise livestock. This recent land acquisition and request for farmers are part of the Conservancy’s Farmland Access Initiative, a leasing program designed to make land more accessible to newly established local farmers interested in supplying crops to support Pittsburgh’s burgeoning food market.
Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy, says that leasing programs provide successful options near urban areas where high land prices make it challenging for farmers, particularly those who are new to the industry, to acquire land.
“We want to help address the challenge of land access and make affordable land available to farmers who want to grow local foods for the Pittsburgh market,” he adds. “Through this proactive effort, we are partnering with other organizations and supporting existing efforts while protecting the ecological significance and agrarian heritage of our region.”
Farmers interested in leasing the farm in Mercer County should contact the Conservancy at 412-288-2777 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request the proposal documents or for more information. The request for proposals can also be downloaded from the Conservancy’s website.
According to Nancy Heeney, a partnership associate with Mother Earth News Fair, says the fair began in 2010 as a way to bring Mother Earth News magazine to life. On average, nearly 15,000 people attend each fair – many traveling hundreds of miles to participate. For more information, visit MotherEarthNewsFair.com.
Funding for WPC’s Farmland Access Initiative is made possible by the generosity of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and an anonymous donor.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 11,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.
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